If you’ve just recently started playing disc golf, you probably already know how awesome it is. It’s ever growing as a sport and I’m SO glad that you’ve found a sport that has the potential to give you a lifetime of fun and spirited competition. So with that being said, I’d like to officially welcome you to disc golf. I’m glad that you’re here.
Now since you’re new, and because you’ve clicked on this post, you’re probably looking for some of the best disc golf tips on the internet. And I can tell you that you’ve found the right place. My site, DiscgolfNOW.com, offers beginner players like yourself a ton of great information on how to start your #discgolfjourney off the right way and improve your skills tenfold in just a couple of months. But that is completely up to you.
In this post, I’ll be taking you through 7 different extremely important beginner disc golf tips and showing you everything you need to know to start out playing the right way. And I’ll just leave it that. Alright, let’s get started!
7 things beginners need to know
1. Flight ratings and correct discs
The #1 thing that new players need to know about is the discs they should be using as a beginner, the flight ratings of discs, and how to pick out the right discs. That is the single most important thing for beginners in disc golf.
Why? Well, as a new player, you need to throw discs meant only for beginners. Discs that are easy to throw and can help you learn the game. That means, first and foremost, no drivers! Drivers are very hard to throw and should only be picked up once you’ve developed a little bit of skill, technique, and power in disc golf.
Beginners should use only mid-range discs and putters at first. Those discs are normally very easy to use and allow beginners to focus on truly learning how to play well. Here are a couple of posts to help you get started:
But if you’re brand new, I would suggest putters only for a couple of months. Playing with only putters allows you to use the easiest discs while you learn the game. Try it out. Putter only rounds are fun and super challenging.
Next, in order to learn which discs are best, you need to learn the disc golf flight ratings. The flight ratings of a disc are the series of four numbers that are located on the front of almost all discs. These numbers represent the speed, glide, turn, and fade of a disc which help to show you each individual disc’s “personality” or how it flies through the air.
By learning the flight ratings, you’ll learn which discs are right for you AND you’ll start to understand exactly how each disc is supposed to fly. Learning the flight ratings singlehandedly improved my disc golf game in a really short period of time. If you want to learn this system, check out my post below ⬇️.
2. Proper technique
Technique is SO important. If you can’t throw a disc properly, everything else really doesn’t matter. Here are the 7 steps to a perfect throw:
- Grip: not too loose or too tight but right in the middle. For a really awesome video on grip, check out Zach Melton’s video below.
- X step: the series of 3 steps you take before you throw your disc. This isn’t a hard concept, but you will need to take some time to learn it. For more, check out Danny Lindahl’s X-Step video below ⬇️ to help you out with this.
- Good hip rotation and reach back: both of these are important. You’ll do these two movements together with steps 2-6. The more rotation of the hips, the more power you can generate. And you want almost a 180 degree reachback (like 160 degree).
- Look away from line of sight: as your maximizing your rotation and reachback, you want your head to rotate in the same direction as you look away from line of sight.
- Big, strong final step: this is the final step in the X-step that you started in step 2. You’re simply finishing the throw and your foot is being planted for max power.
- Follow through: as you throw your disc, make sure you allow for your arm and body to follow through and finish the throwing motion. Cutting off this follow through too early could lead to injury.
For more on technique, check out my post, “7 Steps to the Best Disc Golf Technique and a Perfect Throw.”
3. How to practice (efficiently and effectively)
If you really want to improve in disc golf, you need to find a way to practice daily. But it also depends on how good you want to get. Because the more you practice, the more you’ll improve and the better you will get.
NBA legends Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were great examples of this. Kobe used to wake up at 4am to get a workout or practice in before breakfast. Then he would eat, get ready, and go practice a second time before his team practice later in the day. MJ was notorious for staying after practice and shooting upwards of 500+ free throws to perfect his game. Kobe would often do the same before his team practices. Their tremendous work ethic and effort in practice made them the greatest to ever play the game of basketball.
There are a couple of ways to really practice and improve outside of playing rounds. But remember, rounds are important and are crucial in your development. So get your rounds in, too!
Drills: I encourage drills every day because drills allow you to work on specific parts of your disc golf game. For more on drills, check out my epic 50 Drills post here.
Field work: I encourage field work at least once per week. Make sure you set goals and practice smart. For how to do field work practice, check out my field work post here.
Practice equipment: it’s absolutely essential to buy some practice equipment once you start improving in disc golf. Here are the three pieces of practice equipment you need to level up your game:
- Practice basket – for at home putting practice (or regular practice if you have a big yard). Check out our 17 best baskets post here on the site.
- Practice net – perfect for throwing practice in your backyard or in your garage. Grab the one I bought off Amazon here.
- Propull system – the perfect resistance band disc trainer to help you improve your technique. This thing is awesome. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
For more on these practice trainers, check put my post, “The #1 Way to Improve Your Disc Golf Game This Year.”
4. How to set disc golf goals
Goals are extremely important in disc golf. And even as a brand new beginner, you should have goals for improving your game. I recommend that you set multiple goals throughout your #discgolfjourney including both short term and long term goals.
Short term goals are your daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Long term goals can stretch out from a few months to a few years. I personally don’t set anything longer than goals for the year because you just can’t know what your mindset will be like 2, 3, 5, or 10 years down the road. It’s also hard to set specific goals that far out. But still, set a few short term and a few long terms goals.
Next, you want to make sure all of your goals are extremely specific. Vague goals never get you to where you want to be. If you just say, “I want to improve at disc golf by next year,” you might improve a little bit but probably not a whole lot. If you make multiple specific goals like, “I want to be able to throw over 300 feet in 6 months” or “I want to have a par round average in the next 6 months,” you’ll more than likely be able to reach those specific goals (or get close).
Lastly, I want you to list all of those goals out in writing. If you write them down, you’ll be more likely to hold yourself to those goals. You can also write out a few ways that you can start working toward those goals. For example:
Goal: I want to be able to throw 300 feet in the next 6 months.
Ways to move toward that goal:
- field work twice a week
- net work once a week
- two distance drills once a week
- strengthen your shoulders once a week to help with power.
All of that will easily help you achieve 300 feet in your goal of 6 months or less. That’s how you set goals.
To learn more about how to set goals for yourself, check out my goals post here.
5. How to build your bag (and consolidate your discs)
Building a solid disc golf bag is what sets average players apart from great disc golfers. Average players grab a few discs that they like and throw them in their bag. I would definitely suggest this for a complete beginner. But if you want to improve your game, you need to build out your bag. That means not only finding discs that you like. But building a bag around the discs you will need for different situations in the course. A great disc golfer has a bag that matches their playing style and what discs they will need during their rounds.
You need to first build your bag according to your skill level. But as you improve, it’s important to learn how to build a competitive bag. For more on building a disc golf bag, check out both of my posts below:
You also want to make sure that you don’t have too many different discs in your bag. If you have over 15 discs, that’s just too many.
You want to consolidate your bag into just a few discs so that you as a player can master just those few discs. A player that carries and tries using 15-20 plus discs normally doesn’t get good with all of those discs and continues being just an average disc golfer. If you really want to level up as a player, consolidate into just a few discs and get really good with those discs. I would recommend no more than 10-12 different discs in your bag.
6. How to become mentally strong
Becoming a mentally strong disc golfer is extremely important. Most people will tell you that you need to practice and play in order to truly improve. And while that’s part of what you need to do to improve, you also need to improve your mental game to see even more positive results on the course.
Your mental game is a huge part of disc golf that can separate you from the pack. A mentally strong disc golfer can be the difference between a mediocre player and a great player. There are many different parts to a mentally strong disc golfer including:
- Being mentally prepared to play: taking care of your body physically can have a direct impact on your mental game. You’ll learn about this in number seven below.
- Focus: extreme focus on the course can make or break your scores. Focus on your shots, your play, and your putts. It’s tough sometimes to focus with friends on the course, but use this time to separate the fun you have while playing with your ability to focus on each individual shot.
- Confidence: your confidence on the course can be the difference in a good score and a bad score. Be confident in the fact that you’re a good player or an improving player. Don’t be scared to throw around other, more experienced players. You should also have confidence in your competitive play so that you will do well in league play or competition play. Be confident in your abilities!
- Positivity: maintaining a positive attitude and mindset can help you not only continue playing well, but can help you when you’re not playing that well. Stay positive, disc golfers!
For more on improving your mental game, check out my post here.
7. How to become an athlete
This final tip involves not only your play on the course, but your exercise and body maintenance off the course. In this last section, if you really want another way to improve your game overall, I want you to become an athlete.
Why do I say become an athlete? Well, multiple reasons. The first is that your physical health and fitness is extremely important. You will improve significantly if you become an athlete and not just a “good disc golfer.” You need to improve your overall fitness, first and foremost, because it’s important to be a healthy person. You’ll live longer and feel better overall.
In regards to disc golf, though, becoming fitter and healthier can directly affect your performance on the course. A healthy, fit person will play better, have more stamina to play more, and be much more positive and happy on the course (which can positively affect scores even more)!
I want you to start out by making sure you’re atleast playing weekly rounds. If you can play more, that’s more exercise for you. Each round will help your overall fitness because you’re getting a little bit of exercise in during your round.
If you don’t already, I want you to start working out off the course multiple times per week. This can be either at home or at the gym. Setting a weekly workout routine is important and can continue your journey into health and fitness. Workouts off the course, paired with weekly rounds, can really help you get fit quick. I try for a round a week and at least four gym workouts a week.
The final part of becoming an athlete involves taking care of your body after workouts. This recovery process involves about 5 different parts. I’ll go over these quick and add in links for a couple of other posts I wrote on recovery.
- Recovery: overall recovery involves allowing your body to recover and heal after strenuous workouts. You should always allow yourself about 24-48 hours to recover from working out a certain part of your body. For example, after a tough round on the course, you shouldn’t workout your legs or shoulders or play another round until at least 48 hours later. If you’re still sore after two days, you should wait one more day to play/workout. For more on recovery, check out my post on recovery here.
- Stretching: recovery also involves stretching. You should stretch before your workout or round. And then you should also stretch some after your workout or round. This stretching should help your muscles to warm up before and recover after. Check out my stretching post here.
- Nutrition: proper nutrition at home can either help or hinder your body’s ability to recover. If you eat sugar, drink soda, and have fast food for your meals, your body will not recover very fast. In fact, if you treat your body like this, all of those workouts could be for nothing. On the flip side, if you eat lots of healthy foods rich with protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, your body will love that food and help you recover properly.
- Water: Drinking lots of water can aid in your body’s recovery ability and can help complement good nutrition. Check out my post on why water is important here.
- Sleep: the last piece in the recovery puzzle involves getting a decent amount of sleep. You should aim to get 6-8 hours of sleep every night on a consistent schedule in order to aid your body’s recovery efforts. Sleep is super important so make sure to get enough of it.
If you continue to exercise and allow your body to heal, you’ll get fit and healthy in a very short period of time. All of that body maintenance will not only feel great, but allow you to crush it on the course.
Don’t forget to have fun
Lastly, no matter how good you want to be or how badly you want to improve, I want you to remember one thing: remember to still have fun when you go out and play. I often have to remind myself about that. I’ve been so tuned in to learning about disc golf and working on this site, that I sometimes will forget why I started playing disc golf – for fun with friends.
So I’ve started just going out to play rounds or hitting up friends and family for quick rounds. No learning, no writing, no taking pictures, no thinking about it as a job, no being extremely competitive so that I can try to improve tenfold. Nope, just my my discs, maybe some friends, and a couple hours of pure fun on the course.
Keep having fun, disc golfers.
Don’t forget about the book!
Before you go, don’t forget to check out the best beginner disc golf book on the planet, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual.” This ebook is packed with over 200+ pages of the best tips, tricks, and advice for new players